A True Thanksgiving: How Our Client Recreated Babette’s Feast

In the remote, dreary Jutland coasts of 19th-century Denmark, a pair of spinster sisters took in a Parisian woman named Babette as their housekeeper, even though they could not afford to pay her.  For the next fourteen years, Babette cooked the bland meals demanded by the sisters’ late father, whose strict religious beliefs they still followed.

Then, one day, Babette won the lottery.  But instead of going back to Paris, she spent it all making the most lavish feast the sisters and their fellow believers had ever seen.  Course after course of the most exotic delicacies were served on the most beautiful china.  As the feast progressed, its sensual pleasures overwhelmed even the most hardened souls, as the diners reconnected with each other, forgave old sins, and re-kindled long lost loves.

Finally Babette reveals that she was once the head chef of the famed Cafe Anglais in Paris.  The sisters were horrified!  Babette had spent her last cent on them and could not go back to her glamorous life again.  They sob that she would be poor for the rest of her life.  But Babette tells them, “an artist is never poor.”

This novel by Karen Blixen, of Out of Africa fame, was made into a movie in 1987 and became an instant classic.  It won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, a Cannes Film Festival award, and a Belgian Grand Prix.  Even Pope Francis mentioned it as his favorite film in a New York Times interview.

Recently, one of our clients from Brazil recreated this very film after some serious research and shared her photos with us.  Her table is spectacular:

Babette's Feast Table

Babette’s Feast Table

The first course, blinis demidoff:

Babette's Feast Blinis Demidoff

Babette’s Feast Blinis Demidoff

Followed by a salad:

Babette's Feast Salad

Babette’s Feast Salad

A potage a la tortue:

Babette's Feast Potage a la Tortue

Babette’s Feast Potage a la Tortue

The main course, cailles en sarcophage:

Babette's Feast Cailles en Sarcophage

Babette’s Feast Cailles en Sarcophage

And of course, dessert!  The savarin au rhum:

Babette's Feast Savarin au Rhum

Babette’s Feast Savarin au Rhum

And to make it a really special occasion, beautifully dressed guests at the party!

Babette's Feast Dress Up Party

Babette’s Feast Dress Up Party

Did you recognize Haviland’s Imperatrice Eugenie dinnerware on the table?  This is the same pattern Babette ordered from France for her feast and is especially appropriate to the story, since the Cafe Anglais was one of the greatest restaurants during the Second Empire, when Empress Eugenie and Emperor Napoleon III were at the height of their power.

For more photos and tips on how to create your own Babette’s Feast, please see our inspiration gallery.

We hope this will help you celebrate your Thanksgiving.  Remember to be grateful for the kindness of others and enjoy the pleasures of good food, good friends, and loved ones.  Don’t forget to share your special celebration with us — just write us or instagram us with #graciousstyle.

And thank you, Renata, for having shared these stunning images with us.

 

Vista Alegre Venezia Gravy Boat

It’s All in the Gravy: Vista Alegre’s Venezia Gravy Boat in Bon Appetit!

What’s the perfect gravy boat for your Thanksgiving feast?  Naturally, a question for Bon Appetit’s big November 2015 issue:

Bon Appetit November 2015

Bon Appetit November 2015

And one of the answers is the Vista Alegre Venezia Gravy Boat:

Bon Appetit November 2015 Gravy Boats

Bon Appetit November 2015 Gravy Boats

According to the editors, “The intricately patterned piece has a pointy spout for daintier pours (and less mess).”  See if you agree:

Vista Alegre Venezia Gravy Boat

Vista Alegre Venezia Gravy Boat

Click here to see the rest of the Venezia dinnerware and other Vista Alegre collections.

Celebrating Halloween in Los Angeles

In L.A., where we are surrounded by so many people in the (movie) industry, Halloween is serious business.

For the past several years, local artist/photographer/baker Christine McConnell has taken over her parents’ house and made it over for Halloween.  Last year, her design was inspired by Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas:”

Courtesy Christine McConnell

Inspired by “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Image Christine McConnell)

This year, she created an even more over-the-top version, inspired by “Monster House:”

Inspired by "Monster House" (courtesy Christine McConnell)

Inspired by “Monster House” (Image Christine McConnell)

Over in Beverly Hills, local real estate agent Michael Libow’s Spadena House (better known as “The Witch’s House”), is perfect for trick-or-treating. Designed by Hollywood art director Harry Oliver in 1920, it’s been carefully renovated and a must-visit on Halloween.

"Witch's House" in Beverly Hills (image Discover Los Angeles)

“Witch’s House” in Beverly Hills (Image Discover Los Angeles)

And of course, don’t forget the West Hollywood Carnaval, the world’s largest Halloween street party:

West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval (image Jonathan Moore)

West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval (image Jonathan Moore)

But what if you love to party and you’re short on time?  Halloween’s easy, because you can take things you already own and just add accessories.  Here are a few ideas.

See how just one Witch Hat napkin ring transforms this black and gold setting.

Image Kim Seybert

One black skull is all you need on your console table:

lobjet-black-skull-lifestyle

Image L’Objet

Same idea on your dinner table with one white skull:

Image L’Objet

If you’ve got a few glass jars in the kitchen, fill them with candy and label them (get your candy here and  free printable label here) to create a Halloween Party “Specimen Table”:

Image Paging Supermom

And for the little ones, keep it simple with Hershey’s Kisses:

Image Sweet City Candy

Happy trick-or-treating!  Click here for more Halloween party ideas.

 

Free Shipping on Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day is less than three weeks away on Sunday, June 21st, so we thought we’d help you remember him with these thoughtful gifts for dad.  And for a limited time, enjoy free shipping on all orders over $75.

Fortuny Rabat Picture Frame

Herend Lion Figurine

Simon Pearce Large Sailboat

Christofle Albi Caviar Set

 

To view more Father’s Day Gifts, click here!

Friday Sale: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas + Free Shipping

Mother’s Day is just one month away; be sure to remember her with these thoughtful gifts.

Daum Art Editions “Love Love” (50% off)

Raynaud Metamorphoses Tea Cup – Now Just $67.20

 

Mauviel French Copper Roaster (now 20% off)

Kim Seybert Garden of Eden Placemat – Now 25% off!

And for a limited time, enjoy free shipping on all orders over $75.

To view our full sale section, click here!